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20 November 2000
Agenda item 164
Measures to eliminate international terrorism
Letter dated 20 November 2000 from the Permanent Representative
of Israel to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I wish to draw your attention to a reprehensible act of terrorism that was perpetrated today near Kfar Darom, south of Gaza.
Just past 7.30 a.m. local time, a bus carrying 30 schoolchildren and their chaperones left Kfar Darom heading towards a school in nearby Gush Katif. About 300 metres outside Kfar Darom, a bomb was exploded by three Palestinian terrorists. Two civilians, Miriam Amitai, a teacher, and Gavriel Biton, a maintenance person at the school, were killed in the attack. At least 10 others were injured, including children as young as 7 years of age, some of them critically. This heinous assault, which deliberately targeted innocent children, was carried out by members of the Tanzim paramilitary group from the circles closest to Chairman Arafat.
The Government of Israel holds the Palestinian Authority fully responsible for this attack. The international community has the responsibility to call upon Chairman Arafat to fulfil his obligations to halt attacks against innocent civilians and to disarm the Tanzim. Terrorist attacks and bombings aimed at Israelis have continued unabated, in violation of the Sharm Al-Sheikh understanding and other key agreements, which require Chairman Arafat to act immediately to bring about their cessation.
Regrettably, this recent act of terror serves as proof of Arafat’s lack of credibility in claiming to combat Palestinian violence. We renew our call to the Palestinian leadership to comply with their repeated commitments to halt the terrorism and violence and to resume negotiations to achieve a peaceful and lasting settlement.
I should be grateful if you would have the text of the present letter circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 164, and of the Security Council.